5 Great Ways To Wind Up Telephone Scammers

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how to get back at phone scamsFor a while, there has been a trend that involves scammers posing as customer support and calling up innocent people only to falsely inform them that their computers have viruses. The scammers in question will then request for remote access to these computers, allowing them to acquire all kinds of information and data. Sometimes, they will even ask for personal information right over the phone.

However, you can fight back, and the best way of doing so won’t take that much of an effort from you. The best way to wind up a telephone scammer is by keeping them on the line. Why is that? Well, if they are wasting their time with you, then they can’t get to anyone else.  Below are a few ways to make that happen.

Act As If You Are Tech-Ignorant

how to get back at phone scams

One method of keeping those nasty scammers at bay is by acting ignorant of all things tech. For reference, imagine the worst of the IT help phone calls you have ever heard. When they ask you to type in “w-w-w”, ask them if it should be all upper-case or all lower-case. If they tell you to turn on your computer, ask them where the power button is.

Basically, imagine the best possible ways for you to sound as if your brain is completely and utterly void of all technological knowledge.

Act As If You Are Completely Ignorant

phone scams how to stop

You don’t have to let your faux ignorance remain in the world of technology. Why not act completely stupid instead? I’d recommend doing this because it is incredibly easy to do. The only problem you might have is keeping yourself from cracking up on the other end of the line.

Here are a few suggestions – forget how to spell your name, periodically ask them when the pizza will arrive, inquire as to how attractive they are, etc. Chances are that they will continue to try to sound as kind as possible.

Explain That You Have To “Go Get Something”

phone scams how to stop

The one thing these scammers want is your information, and they will do anything and everything to get to it. They are evil little monsters, appeasing you one second and then stabbing you in the back the next. Why not use their temporary desire to please against them? Right in the middle of your conversation, tell them that you have to go get something like the laundry, a package, a pot on the stove, etc. Any of these will do.

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However, the catch is that you should leave them hanging for about an hour or so. Trust me, chances are they will stay on the line, and if you aren’t too worried about your phone bill or getting other calls, it will be worth it.

Tell Them Someone Is At The Door

phone scams how to stop

In the same vein as saying you have to go get something, you could also inform them that you have a visitor at the door. Realistically, this is the same exact method as the one mentioned above. However, I recommend having a bit of fun with it. If you have the gift of improv (as well as a knack for coming up with different types of voices), come up with characters and a scenario and let it play out for a few minutes.

If desired, bring the scammer into the scene, allowing each of your characters to pick up the phone. This is a great way to waste their time while having a little fun with it.

Give Them An Expired Credit Card Number

how to get back at phone scams

I wouldn’t do this simply because it is technically giving out personal information, but I have seen it happen before. If asked (for whatever reason), you can always give the scammer an expired credit card number. However, make sure this card is old – like more than a year. For instance, cards that are recently expired can sometimes be used within a certain grace period.

With that said, this is another level of frustration that the scammer will have to deal with.

Just Hang Up

In the end, you can always just hang up the phone. No, this won’t delay them and keep them from harming other individuals, but it will as sure as heck get them out of your hair. Sometimes, there are people who simply aren’t worth it.

Have you ever received a tech-related phone call from a scammer? Did you fall for it? What methods do you have for handling telephone tech scammers?

Image Credits: zigazou76, eurleifcogdogblog, lemonhalf, Cristiano Betta, 401(K) 2013

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Comments (72)
  • Mark

    I told the guy that the phone I was on had a cord. I asked him to call me on another line so I could sit in front of my computer. I then gave him the number for the local detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police! He said he would call right away!

  • Mark B

    I love this stuff. I used to get annoyed with cold call scammers, but then decided the best thing is to wind them up and waste *their* time, e.g. I’ve done the “sure, sure, oh wait I left some toast in the toaster and it’s starting to burn, can you hold on while I sort it”….
    Sadly, most scamsters are wise to the usual wind-ups. But I got one good a few weeks ago: This guy calls and asks “Have you had a health and safety inspection on your roof in the last 10 years?”. (This was so implausable.) “No” I said, going along with it. “Well, you need to have one.” “No I don’t!” “Yes you do, you’re legally obliged to”. “No I’m not” “Yes you are, you can be arrested if you don’t” “Ok, call the police then” “I will!” “I’ll just wait for the police”…
    And so on, me laughing, but the funny part was the guy was getting really angry, yelling at me and threatening all kinds of legal action. Finally I said, “Sorry, I’d love to stay and chat some more, but I’ve got work to do.” and hung up.
    I doesn’t end there though, after the call I pressed 1471 and to my amazement got a number. So I waited a while and tried the number which was engaged, but after a few attempts, it rang. The guy answered, and I said “You called me a while and threatened to have me arrested”. “No I didn’t”. “It was you, I recognise your voice”. After a silence, “How did you get this number?”. And I said, “You’re not very good at this, are you?”. “What?”. “Telephone scams.” (More shouting) I hung up.
    And finally, I Googled “PPI claims” and submitted his number for callback to several PPI claim websites. Get one to annoy another! :-D

  • Fran

    When I see a telemarketing call coming in on my caller ID, I answer the phone, ” Thank you for calling the Better Business Bureau. How may I direct your call?” They NEVER call back. It works 100%

  • Ed

    When they call, I ask the question like, Where are you calling from, what time is it there. I notices the area code you are calling from what town are you calling from, what’s the weather like there. It went so far one time the caller said “I think you are an a-hole aren’t you”. I laughed out loud and said BINGO! Yes I am. She hung up. Great fun!

  • guy

    I love when i get spam callers from India or Pakistan or somewhere and they have the most english name they can imagine.
    “hello my name is Tom” with an accent so thick you wonder if the actually speak english.
    To these people i love to respond in kind.
    Instead of my english name i am now Akbar or muhammed. Then i start trying to sell them stuff, like a left handed screwdriver.
    many lulz

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.